Nadal must finish the season – is the path clear for Djokovic to set the record?
Roger Federer, defending champion Dominic Thiem and now also Rafael Nadal. The US Open will have to dispense with all three tennis stars this year. Who can stop Novak Djokovic now?
The US Open will have to lay off some stars this year as well. Last year, due to the tense epidemiological situation, many players decided not to make a trip to the United States, and this year’s edition (from August 30 to September 12) will be the injury witch.
After disqualifying Roger Federer (a knee injury) and defending champion Dominic Thiem (a wrist injury), Rafael Nadal also has to give up his last Grand Slam start of the season. For all three players, this is synonymous with the end of the season. The 35-year-old Spanish player must pass with a foot injury. “Honestly, I’ve had more problems with my feet for a year than I should have and that’s good for me. I have to take a break now. It’s the way to a full recovery,” Nadal said in a video message on Instagram.
Mallorcans, who have already lifted the trophy four times in New York, had a solid season. At the Australian Open, the quarter-finals ended, at the French Open the journey of the “King of the Sands” ended in the semi-finals. Then he complained of severe pain in his foot and decided not to attend Wimbledon or the Olympic Games. At the ATP tournament in Washington, he dared to come back, but failed in the round of 16 against South African Lloyd Harris (46). The left-hander finished the season with two titles (Roma and Barcelona).
No new injury
“I want to change a few things, try to find out why I have these foot problems. It is not a new injury, but an injury from 2005. We will adjust the treatment so that a solution can be found or at least the condition is improved.” The 35-year-old confirmed that he is far from contemplating quitting.
“I will do whatever it takes and do my best so that I can get my ancient strength back.”
This appears to pave the way for Novak Djokovic at Flushing Meadows. The 34-year-old Serb could win his fourth grand slam of the year with the US Open and thus outperform Federer and Nadal. The three tennis giants currently share the record of 20 Grand Slam titles.
Does Djoker already have at least one hand on the trophy he’d like to secure for the fourth time? Even if the world number one would undoubtedly start the tournament as the front-runner, it shouldn’t be a walk in the park.
Disappointment for Djokovic at the Olympics
At the Tokyo Olympics, the Serbian surprisingly failed in the semi-finals at later German Olympic winner Alexander Zverev (ATP 5). In the bronze medal, he also lost to Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta (ATP 12) after three sets, losing his temper when he put the racket on the stands and had to travel home without a medal. Djokovic has not played a game since then and recently canceled his participation in Cincinnati. “I need more time to recover. The world number one announced on Twitter.
The fact that Djokovic missed the opportunity to win a gold title (wins at all four Grand Slam tournaments in one year plus win the Olympic tennis tournament) eliminates the 20-time Grand Slam winner dramatically. He will do everything in his power to win the US Open this year.
Two players in particular should make the title controversial: Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev (ATP 2). Both have a negative record against the Serbs, but were able to leave the field as winners three times.
Zverev travels to New York with so much confidence after his Olympic victory that he barely missed his first Grand Slam victory last year after his final five-set defeat to Thiem. Medvedev can also benefit from the ultimate experience at the US Open (loss to Nadal 2019). He was also in the final of the Australian Open this year. Despite the three notable rejections, the omens for an exciting outcome aren’t that bad.
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